Readercon 16 program

All items are 50 minutes unless otherwise noted, beginning on the hour. (M) indicates Moderator only; (+M) indicates Participant/Moderator. Times in italic are before noon; all others noon and later.


***  Fri 02:00  Ballroom Lobby
Registration & Information open.
***  Fri 03:00  Room 630
Con Suite opens.
[#1]  Fri 03:00  G
The True and Secret History of Clarion. James Patrick Kelly (M), Samuel R. Delany, Scott Edelman, Joe Haldeman, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Kate Wilhelm. The story of the hugely influential workshop for sf writers, beginning with its roots in the Milford Science Fiction Writers Conference. We'll hear a wealth of substantive history seasoned with legendary anecdotes (or vice versa).
[#2]  Fri 03:00  ME
Three Embryonic Theories of Fantasy. Donald G. Keller. Talk (60 min). 1. The Whig Theory of Fantasy: why is realistic fiction the unmarked set? 2. Freudian and Jungian Fantasy: the differences explained! 3. Numen and Novum: distinguishing sf and fantasy tropes.
[#3]  Fri 03:00  VT
Paul Levinson reads from The Plot to Save Socrates, forthcoming from Tor in January 2006. (30 min).
[#4]  Fri 03:30  VT
Victoria McManus reads "17 Short Films About Hades and Persephone" (erotica as by Elspeth Potter), a series of scenes from Hades' point of view about his changing relationship to Persephone and how she comes into her power as Queen of the Dead. (30 min).
***  Fri 04:00  E
Bookshop opens.
[#5]  Fri 04:00  G
The Possibly Problematic Appeal of the SF War Story. Teresa Nielsen Hayden (M), Joe Haldeman, Walter H. Hunt, Laurie J. Marks, Jean-Louis Trudel. In "The Traumatized Author" (Saturday, 2:00 PM) we'll discuss imaginative literature's special ability to deal with the horrors of modern warfare. But clearly the military setting has appeal and legitimate utility to a broader class of writers than those who have experienced war first-hand. For instance, questions of duty and honor are naturally foregrounded, while a combat setting can be an intense crucible for human behavior. However, there is always the question of whether such stories glorify war. If so, how much of that is in the text and how much in the individual reader's response?
[#6]  Fri 04:00  ME
How To Be A Public Intellectual. Paul Levinson. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Levinson has appeared more than twenty-five times in the past two years on such TV news shows as the CBS Evening News, ABC World News Now and The O'Reilly Factor. He speaks frequently on AP, CNN, and Bloomberg radio, and has been quoted hundreds of times in major newspapers around the country and the world. This talk describes how to turn the types of conversations you have at conventions and in coffee shops into appearances and quotes in the major media. Appearances in the media impress your childhood friends, bosses, and spouses -- and may even increase your book sales by a few hundred.
[#7]  Fri 04:00  NH
Scott Edelman reads "The Only Wish Ever to Come True." (60 min).
[#8]  Fri 04:00  VT
Melanie Tem reads either "Visits," a recently-published short story, or the first chapter of her most recent novel The Deceiver. (30 min).
[#9]  Fri 04:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. John Clute; Daniel P. Dern.
[#10]  Fri 04:00  E
Autographs. Shane Tourtellotte.
[#11]  Fri 04:30  VT
John Langan reads from his novel-in-progress, House of Windows. It's a ghost story told by a woman whose husband disowned his son from a previous marriage, after which the son was killed while serving in Afghanistan. When the son's ghost returns, it's the narrator he haunts . . . (30 min).
[#12]  Fri 05:00  F
2003-2004: The Years in Short Fiction. Carl Frederick (M), Kathryn Cramer, Ellen Datlow, Paul Di Filippo, Gavin Grant, Kelly Link. Including a look at the state of the magazines (professional and semi-pro).
[#13]  Fri 05:00  G
Education and Social Control in Speculative Fiction. Ellen Asher, Chris Genoa, Ernest Lilley (+M), Victoria McManus, Farah Mendlesohn. The role of the individual within a successful totalitarian regime is one of the most compelling and enduring themes in speculative fiction, explored by Zamiatin, Orwell, and many others. These stories are often concerned with the obvious importance of education in such societies, especially in the training of the powerless and the very young. What are the mechanisms of social control and indoctrination in these stories, and how they are used to establish and enforce social rules? Must mandatory conformity always breed a certain amount of rebellion due to human nature?
[#14]  Fri 05:00  RI
How I Wrote Thinner Than Thou. Kit Reed. Talk (30 min).
[#15]  Fri 05:00  NH
Ellen Klages reads the Nebula-winning novelette "Basement Magic." (60 min).
[#16]  Fri 05:00  VT
Delia Sherman reads "The Fiddler of Bayou Teche," forthcoming in Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow's trickster anthology Coyote Road. Cajun dance and werewolves in the swamps of Louisiana. (30 min).
[#17]  Fri 05:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Wil McCarthy; Ian Randal Strock.
[#18]  Fri 05:00  E
Autographs. Suzy McKee Charnas; Patrick O'Leary.
[#19]  Fri 05:30  RI
How I Wrote Mortal Love. Elizabeth Hand. Talk (30 min).
[#20]  Fri 05:30  VT
Terry McGarry reads "Threshold" from the anthology I, Alien. A coming-of-age story from the first-person point-of-view of a member of an extraterrestrial race with no gender as we understand it and memories / personalities uploaded into the next generation. (30 min).
[#21]  Fri 06:00  F
Reading Through Another's Eyes. James Alan Gardner, Ellen Kushner (+M), Tom La Farge, Robert J. Sawyer, Wendy Walker. One of the devices experienced readers sometimes use is reading and trying to better understand a book by imagining the response to the text of someone other than one's self. For instance, it's a great way to approach a book that our significant other adores but is less than wonderful for us. Or one can imagine the response of a reader from a different period of time or with different genre expectations... or our own response at an earlier age.
[#22]  Fri 06:00  G
The Career of Kate Wilhelm. Michael Matthew (M), John Clute, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Victoria McManus, Gordon Van Gelder.
[#23]  Fri 06:00  ME
Medieval Literature as Proto-SF. Jean-Louis Trudel. Talk (60 min). Can medieval literature (especially the "Matter of Britain") serve as a parable of the modern fates of science fiction versus fantasy?
[#24]  Fri 06:00  RI
Presenting The Viable Paradise Writer's Workshop. Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald with Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Jennifer Pelland. Talk (60 min). Viable Paradise is a unique one-week residential workshop in writing and selling commercial science fiction and fantasy, held each autumn on Martha's Vineyard. Most of the current instructional staff and at least one recent graduate are here to talk about it.
[#25]  Fri 06:00  NH
Paul Park reads from his new novel A Princess of Roumania. (30 min).
[#26]  Fri 06:00  VT
James L. Cambias reads a new story, "Parsifal (Prix Fixe)," and selections from a project called "50 States." (30 min).
[#27]  Fri 06:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. John Morressy; Delia Sherman.
[#28]  Fri 06:00  E
Autographs. Paul Levinson; Allen Steele.
[#29]  Fri 06:30  NH
Laurie J. Marks reads from Water Logic, the third in her Elemental Logic series. (People who haven't read Fire Logic and Earth Logic will have no trouble following the story.) In the first two volumes Zanja, Karis, and their eccentric circle made peace possible. In the final two volumes they try to make peace practical. (30 min).
[#30]  Fri 06:30  VT
Vandana Singh reads "Delhi," a finalist for the British Science Fiction Association Award for short fiction, from the anthology So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan. (30 min).
***  Fri 07:00  E
Bookshop closes.
[#31]  Fri 07:00  F
The Author on the Side of the Milk Carton. Greer Gilman, Geary Gravel, Donald G. Keller, John Morressy (+M), Faye Ringel. Once upon a time James Branch Cabell was a major figure in American literature. A. Merritt was once the undoubted king of fantasy. Mark Clifton was briefly a hugely influential and controversial short-story writer and went on to co-write a Hugo-winning novel. Today they, like many others, are barely read. This can happen to a writer for more than one reason; most (but not all) seem to be intrinsic to their work. What causes a work to become dated? Are there good reasons to re-visit such work, and special reading approaches to make the outdated text more accessible? If we can get a handle on why a work dates, can we predict which authors will be shockingly forgotten tomorrow?
[#32]  Fri 07:00  G
Einstein and Modernity. Judith Berman, Kathryn Cramer, Carl Frederick (+M), Paul Levinson, Wil McCarthy. There's no question that relativity and quantum mechanics formed significant parts of the modernist world view. We have actually seen an argument that the inability to accept inherent quantum randomness in physics on the part of Einstein and others was the scientific equivalent of not being able to read Joyce, listen to Stravinsky, or look at Picasso. Special relativity became a ubiquitous metaphor for moral relativism, in contradiction to its actual philosophical implications. A discussion of the real implications of 20th century physics breakthroughs and the way they have been appropriated or misappropriated as metaphors for our times.
[#33]  Fri 07:00  ME
The Literal Mechanics of Writing. Joe Haldeman. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Computers, typewriters, fountain pens, pencils, clay tablets. To what extent does the medium affect the message? Steinbeck's pencils, Thomas Wolfe's refrigerator, Kozinski's tape recorder, Hemingway's skin of lesser Kudu, Lester del Rey's tree -- anecdota, half-truths, and lies.
[#34]  Fri 07:00  RI
Bookaholics Anonymous Annual Meeting. Tom La Farge with Mike Allen, Walter H. Hunt, Sonya Taaffe and the attendees. Discussion (60 min). The most controversial of all 12-step groups. Despite the appearance of self-approbation, despite the formal public proclamations by members that they find their behavior humiliating and intend to change it, this group, in fact, is alleged to secretly encourage its members to succumb to their addictions. The shame, in other words, is a sham. Within the subtext of the members' pathetic testimony, it is claimed, all the worst vices are covertly endorsed: book-buying, book-hoarding, book-stacking, book-sniffing, even book-reading. Could this be true? Come testify yourself!
[#35]  Fri 07:00  NH
James Patrick Kelly reads a new story tentatively titled "The Leila Torn Show" or else "The Edge of Nowhere" from the June 2005 Asimov's or something completely different. (30 min).
[#36]  Fri 07:00  VT
Michael Cisco reads from his latest novel, The Narrator. (30 min).
[#37]  Fri 07:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Terry McGarry; Paul Park.
[#38]  Fri 07:30  NH
Kit Reed reads from her forthcoming story collection Dogs of Truth, or from her latest novel Thinner Than Thou. (30 min).
[#39]  Fri 07:30  VT
Elaine Isaak reads "A Song for the Sea," a tie-in with her novel The Singer's Crown (forthcoming in October). A young castrato court singer finds himself in a curious palace made from the hulls of shipwrecks, and confronting a terrible -- and tempting -- magic. (30 min).
[#40]  Fri 08:00  F
The Reading Protocols of Slipstream. F. Brett Cox (+M), Jonathan Lethem, Patrick O'Leary, Steve Rasnic Tem, Wendy Walker. Every genre has its reading protocols, a way of reading and understanding the text that is specific to the genre. A reader who gets the genre wrong and applies the wrong protocols is likely to seriously misapprehend the text (see James Thurber's "The Macbeth Murder Case.") But what about the genre we call "slipstream" or "interstitial," where the question of genre is kept in flux, and genre conventions are often toyed with and exploited? Does it have reading protocols of its own? Or does it have the one big protocol of reading without protocols?
[#41]  Fri 08:00  G
The Fiction of Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore. David G. Hartwell, Ken Houghton (+M), Lissanne Lake, Darrell Schweitzer, Jean Marie Stine. A look at the fiction of the 2004 winners of the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award and this year's Readercon memorial Guests of Honor. Moore and Kuttner began separate careers in the 1930's; after their 1940 marriage, almost all of their work was collaborative, including many stories published as by Lewis Padgett or Lawrence O'Donnell.
[#42]  Fri 08:00  ME
Hal's Worlds, The Memorial Anthology. Shane Tourtellotte with Michael A. Burstein, Jeffrey A. Carver, Thomas A. Easton, Walter H. Hunt, Paul Levinson, and Allen Steele. Discussion (60 min). Hal's Worlds: Stories and Essays in Memory of Hal Clement, from Wildside Press, is making its debut at Readercon. It includes reminiscences, appreciations, essays, and stories by fellow writers, members of Hal's Pals (his writers' group, which was instrumental in conceiving and executing the book), and his widow -- and a never-before-collected story by Hal. Join editor Tourtellotte and a bevy of contributors as they discuss Readercon 15's late Guest of Honor and the book project that memorializes him.
[#43]  Fri 08:00  RI
Writing And Publishing Strategies That Don't Work. Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Talk / Discussion (60 min). For instance: if you somehow manage to get hold of the home phone number of the head of Barnes & Noble, do not call him late at night to complain about the placement and display your first novel is getting in his stores. Nielsen Hayden will discuss HapiSofi's Law ("If you can write a book people want to buy and read, you can get published. If you can't, no half-assed self-publication / e-publication / POD / etc. scheme is going to do you a bit of good") together with its many useful corollaries.
[#44]  Fri 08:00  NH
Kate Wilhelm reads from Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers' Workshop, published this moment by Small Beer Press. (60 min).
[#45]  Fri 08:00  VT
Robert J. Sawyer reads "Flashes," a new short story from the anthology FutureShocks, edited by Lou Anders and forthcoming from Roc in January 2006. (60 min).
[#46]  Fri 08:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. James Alan Gardner; Leigh Grossman.
***  Fri 09:00  Ballroom Lobby
Registration & Information close.
***  Fri 09:00  Room 630
Con Suite closes.
[#47]  Fri 09:00  ME
If They Were Alive and Writing. Jim Freund (M), Paul Di Filippo, Scott Edelman, Gregory Feeley, James D. Macdonald. Which dead fantasy writer would have written a great New Weird story, and what might it have been like? Given Phil Dick's interest and expertise in psychoactive drugs and altered states of consciousness, what might he have done with some of the neuroscience tropes of post-cyberpunk? Panelists and audience members match our departed greats with today's popular types of stories, themes, and tropes.
[#48]  Fri 09:00  ME
Translating Ægypt (And Others). Konrad Walewski. Talk (30 min). John Crowley's Polish translator on the art of translating speculative fiction.
[#49]  Fri 09:00  NH
Samuel R. Delany reads from a variety of his work of the last decade: Phallos, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, and Atlantis: Three Tales. (60 min).
[#50]  Fri 09:00  VT
Ellen Kushner reads from her forthcoming novel from Bantam (entitled Challenge? The Mad Duke? The Opinion of the Sword? . . . only her editor knows for sure!), which takes place twenty years after the events of Swordspoint and forty years before The Fall of the Kings. (30 min).
[#51]  Fri 09:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Paul Levinson; Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden.
[#52]  Fri 09:30  RI
How I Wrote Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land. John Crowley. Talk (30 min).
[#53]  Fri 09:30  VT
Glenn Grant reads. (30 min).
***  Fri 10:00  F/G
Meet the Pros(e) Party. (120+ min.) Each writer at the party has selected a short, pithy quotation from his or her own work and is armed with a sheet of 30 printed labels, the quote replicated on each. As attendees mingle and meet each pro, they obtain one of his or her labels, collecting them on the wax paper provided. Atheists, agnostics, and the lazy can leave them in the order they acquire them, resulting in one of at least nine billion Random Prose Poems. Those who believe in the reversal of entropy can rearrange them to make a Statement. Wearing labels as apparel is also popular. The total number of possibilities (linguistic and sartorial) is thought to exceed the number of still-functional synapses in George W. Bush's brain.
***  Fri 10:30  F/G
The 2005 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award. The Smith Award, honoring a writer worthy of being rediscovered by today's readers, is selected annually by a panel of judges that include longtime Readercon stalwarts John Clute and Scott Edelman (together with Gardner Dozois and Robert Silverberg.) (Past winners include Olaf Stapledon, R.A. Lafferty, and Edgar Pangborn.) This year's Memorial Guests of Honor won this award in 2004. Readercon is enormously proud to be the new permanent host of the Award. We'll interrupt the Meet-the-Pros(e) Party at 10:30 PM to announce the 2005 winner.



***  Sat 09:00  Ballroom Lobby
Registration & Information open.
***  Sat 09:00  Room 630
Con Suite opens.
[#54]  Sat 09:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsch. Glen Cook.
***  Sat 10:00  E
Bookshop opens.
[#55]  Sat 10:00  F
After the Cover's Closed. John Clute, Samuel R. Delany, Ellen Klages (+M), Paul Park, Charles Platt, Kit Reed. The amount of closure that any story can have varies widely; there are endings that clap shut like a trap and endings (like "The Lady and the Tiger") that force the reader to decide what happened next. Presumably the writer has a sense of how much closure the ending should provide, and thus how much they want the reader to think about the characters afterwards (and even what those thoughts might be). And yet there's no question that the reader brings as much or more to the ending of a story than the writer. Different readers not only have different tastes in degree of closure, they have different propensities to wonder what happens next (from the reader who doesn't care whether the lady or tiger gets chosen, to the reader who can't help wondering what happens after the end of On the Beach.) When the closure a reader experiences matches the writer's intention, the result can be very powerful. But it may be the mismatches that tell us more about the nature of fiction.
[#56]  Sat 10:00  G
The Separate Pleasures of the Mystery Novel. Suzy McKee Charnas, Craig Shaw Gardner, Jonathan Lethem, Paul Levinson (+M), Sarah Smith. At past Readercons, we've talked about how the sf and mystery genres overlap in the pleasures they provide to the writer and reader, so that the desire to combine the two is, for some, irresistible. But just as clearly, both genres do things that the other cannot, and this attracts many readers and some writers to pure examples of both forms. As with sf, there are distinct subgenres of mystery (private eye, police procedural, courtroom drama) that have their own separate attractions.
[#57]  Sat 10:00  ME
Swords and Spaceships: Medievalists Who Write Science Fiction. Faye Ringel. Talk (30 min). A look at the work of this category of genre-crossers who merge the tropes of neo-medieval romance (quests, swords, courtly love, King Arthur) with the settings and science of science fiction (space voyages, other planets, urban settings, high tech). All share a background in the Society for Creative Anachronism. A close look at the work of Sean McMullen, who typifies this category perfectly.
[#58]  Sat 10:00  RI
Ancient Metrology: The Foot, The Stadion, and Others. Donald Kingsbury. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Kingsbury is currently writing an article for Analog called "Ancient Mathematical Fossils." What is the origin of the English foot, and how is it related to the Tower of Babel and the Jewish calendar? How is the foot anciently related to the meter? What is the relationship of the meter to the Greek stadion or stadium (pl. stadia), and just how was it that Aristotle was essentially using the meter back when Frenchmen were still swinging from the trees?
[#59]  Sat 10:00  NH
Joe Haldeman reads from Old Twentieth, his next novel. (60 min).
[#60]  Sat 10:00  VT
Michael A. Burstein reads from a novel-in-progress. (30 min).
[#61]  Sat 10:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. John Crowley; Victoria McManus.
[#62]  Sat 10:00  E
Autographs. Mike Allen; Chris Genoa.
[#63]  Sat 10:30  RI
Do Quit Your Day Job: Taking a Year Off to Write a Novel. Michael A. Burstein. Talk (60 min). In summer 2004, Burstein left his teaching job to concentrate on writing a novel. By summer 2005, the first draft is finished and being revised. When can one ignore the advice not to quit your day job to write a novel? Why might quitting your job actually be the best thing for you in the long run? And how can one structure a life as a full-time writer?
[#64]  Sat 10:30  VT
Shane Tourtellotte reads "Footsteps", a novelette from the May 2005 Analog. (30 min).
[#65]  Sat 11:00  F
Genre-Switching For Fun and (Lack of) Profit. Michael Blumlein, Samuel R. Delany, Jonathan Lethem, Teresa Nielsen Hayden (+M), Kit Reed, Kate Wilhelm. It's widely considered the worst possible career move: changing genre from novel to novel. (In fact, even changing sub-genres is considered unwise). Yet writing in multiple genres was once rather common (Anthony Boucher, Leigh Brackett, Frederic Brown), and there are still writers who have managed a career while enjoying the freedom of writing whatever they felt like without regard for commercial consequences.
[#66]  Sat 11:00  G
Novel, La!. Michael A. Burstein, Debra Doyle, David G. Hartwell (+M), Robert J. Sawyer. Sf has not one but two time-honored traditions of expanding the novella into the full-length novel. You can tell the same story at different lengths (The Hemingway Hoax, Flowers for Algernon, Enders's Game, "A Galaxy Called Rome" / Galaxies)... or you can write two more novellas (Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, More Than Human, The Fifth Head of Cerberus). To what extent does the story itself dictate the best approach? What does the added material tend to be like? In the case of the simple expansion, is one version inevitably superior (fulfilling the dictum that every story has its optimum length), or can they have separate but equal virtues?
[#67]  Sat 11:00  ME
Quantum Dots And Programmable Matter. Wil McCarthy. Talk (60 min). Electronic devices are rapidly shrinking to the nanometer scale, where quantum mechanics dominates and particles become waves. Here, the distinction between chemistry, mechanics and electronics begins to blur. Case in point: the quantum dot, a device capable of trapping electrons in a space so small that they form "artificial atoms" whose size and shape and charge can be controlled in real time. Historically, the properties of matter are determined at the time of manufacture, through careful mixing and processing. But now we find ourselves at the dawn of a new age, where substances exist whose optical, electrical, magnetic and even mechanical properties can be adjusted at the flip of a bit. Engineer/Journalist/Novelist McCarthy discusses the state of the art and explores the future social / technological implications of this "programmable matter."
[#68]  Sat 11:00  RI
Writing SF in a Time of National Delusion and Denial. Daniel Hatch. Discussion (60 min). How do you top current events when it comes to writing about speculative futures? Hatch says he was prepared for election night 2000 because he's read Philip K. Dick. So how do you write a Dickian story today without it being confused with contemporary fiction -- or worse, non-fiction? How do you project the future when the current movement of history is too difficult to predict and moving too quickly to anticipate? Anyone who can answer any of these questions is welcome to join in.
[#69]  Sat 11:00  NH
Broad Universe Group Reading. Jennifer Pelland (host); Elaine Isaak, Ellen Kushner, Victoria McManus, Sarah Micklem, Delia Sherman et al. (60 min).
[#70]  Sat 11:00  VT
John Morressy reads a fable about the dog who would not be king. (30 min).
[#71]  Sat 11:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Theodora Goss; Kelly Link.
[#72]  Sat 11:00  E
Autographs. John Crowley; Joe Haldeman.
[#73]  Sat 11:30  VT
Daniel P. Dern reads from "He's a Dragon, She's A Princess," the first of a sequence of four novelettes. Why don't dragons eat jesters? (Answer: They taste funny.) (30 min).
[#74]  Sat 12:00  F
A Writer's Workshop in Action. Members of The Cambridge SF Writers Workshop: James L. Cambias, F. Brett Cox, Theodora Goss, Gavin Grant, James Patrick Kelly (+M), Steven Popkes, Vandana Singh. [more detail hopefully coming today!]
[#75]  Sat 12:00  G
Wow, I Actually Wrote That?. Holly Black (+M), Richard Bowes, Greer Gilman, Cecilia Tan, Steve Rasnic Tem. It's not unheard of for a writer to discover a story they wrote years before and (at least at first) have no memory of having written it. It's probably the closest a writer can come to reading their own work the way others do. Our panelists share their anecdotes. What can we learn from this odd experience about the natures of writing, reading, and remembering?
[#76]  Sat 12:00  ME
"Twenty-Five Years Passed." Paul Di Filippo, Gregory Feeley (+M), Terry McGarry, Ed Meskys, Graham Sleight. That first sentence of Book Three of John Crowley's Little, Big is a profound shock to the reader. For the first time, they realize that the tale they are reading will cover a large swath of time. It strikes us that the characters in two classic types of sf stories -- the tale of suspended animation, and the tale of relativistic time dilation -- experience precisely the same shock. The world has changed, perhaps subtly, perhaps severely, and the sf protagonist or chronicle-novel reader has to learn what has changed. Both types of stories are concerned with the limits of the human ability to grasp change over time. In the chronicle novel the challenge to the reader is a proxy for the characters' limited grasp of their own history (which the novel will ultimately make clear to the reader); in the sf story, the reader and protagonist are more directly equated.
[#77]  Sat 12:00  RI
Morbid Fantasy / Fantasy of Justification. Tom La Farge. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" is an example of the first, Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress" of the second; they are shadows of each other and imply one another as satire implies praise.
[#78]  Sat 12:00  NH
Patrick O'Leary reads a poem or two, and a chapter from a novel in progress or a short story "The Witch's Hand." (30 min).
[#79]  Sat 12:00  VT
Jabberwocky Magazine Launch and Group Reading. Sean Wallace (host); Mike Allen, Holly Phillips, Sonya Taaffe (60 min). Jabberwocky, edited by Wallace, is a new genre-crossing biannual journal / anthology from Prime Books, featuring short fiction, poetry, and illustration.
[#80]  Sat 12:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Elizabeth Hand; Ellen Klages.
[#81]  Sat 12:00  E
Autographs. Jeffrey A. Carver; Ellen Datlow.
[#82]  Sat 12:30  NH
Judith Berman reads from Bear Daughter, a fantasy novel forthcoming from Ace in September. (30 min).
[#83]  Sat 01:00  F
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Important: The Art of Secondary Characters. James Patrick Kelly (M), Ellen Kushner, Yves Meynard, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Paul Park, Delia Sherman. They can fade into the background or steal the story, and there's an art to knowing which is appropriate, and a craft to making them vivid and rounded when the story calls for it.
[#84]  Sat 01:00  G
The Career of Joe Haldeman. Mike Allen, Daniel P. Dern (+M), Walter H. Hunt, Allen Steele, Gordon Van Gelder.
[#85]  Sat 01:00  ME
Poem To Song. Rosemary Kirstein. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Not all good poems make good songs; not all good songs read well as poems. When author Laurie J. Marks included lyrics for a ballad in the manuscript for her upcoming Water Logic, fellow writers' group member and singer / songwriter Rosemary Kirstein offered to write the music. But changes were necessary -- some small, some large. Perception alters when the mode is changed from the page to the ear. When the song tells a story, narrative considerations remain; but the special limitations of song form cause aspects of story-telling to become heightened, distilled, and much more visible -- so that song structure becomes a tool for understanding narrative structure. Kirstein will read the original lyrics as she first encountered them, and recreate the process of turning them into a song. She'll explain her analysis, pinpoint reasons for changes in word-choice and narrative structure; explain the interplay between melody and lyrics, and the method she used to find the melody; and finally sing the completed song.
[#86]  Sat 01:00  RI
Learning Online. Leigh Grossman. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Some form of automated or distance learning is a near-ubiquitous trope in futuristic sf, and (like many such tropes) it is increasingly becoming reality. Grossman now teaches sf and fantasy both in traditional classes and online. A discussion of the differences, and of the process and problems of creating online learning models.
[#87]  Sat 01:00  NH
Suzy McKee Charnas reads "Heavy Lifting," a new story. (30 min).
[#88]  Sat 01:00  VT
F. Brett Cox reads "Mary of the New Dispensation," a new short story (30 min).
[#89]  Sat 01:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Scott Edelman; David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer.
[#90]  Sat 01:00  E
Autographs. Nina Kiriki Hoffman; John Morressy.
[#91]  Sat 01:30  NH
Wendy Walker reads "Ashiepattle" from her collection The Sea-Rabbit, or, the Artist of Life. (30 min).
[#92]  Sat 01:30  VT
Paul Tremblay reads "So Many Things Left Out," from the Eden Press anthology The Book of Final Flesh and Tremblay's collection Compositions for the Young and Old. Is Mark Twain really a book-writing zombie in this short story? Only one way to find out! (30 min).
[#93]  Sat 02:00  F
Traumatized Authors: Encounters with Evil and the Speculative Response. Debra Doyle, Joe Haldeman, Elizabeth Hand, James D. Macdonald, Graham Sleight (+M). "It is possible to see Tolkien as one of a group of `traumatized authors,' all of them extremely influential . . . all of them tending to write fantasy or fable. The group includes . . . Tolkien, Orwell, Golding, Vonnegut . . . C.S. Lewis, T.H. White, and Joseph Heller . . . Most of these authors had close or even direct first-hand experience of some of the worst horrors of the twentieth century, horrors which did not and could not exist before it . . . All of them responded with highly individualized images, and theories of evil." -- Tom Shippey, foreword to J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. Hence the dominance of speculative rather than mimetic fiction in works that address the horrors of the modern age.
[#94]  Sat 02:00  G
The Open-Ended Horror Story. Jeanne Cavelos, Michael Cisco, Kit Reed, Darrell Schweitzer (+M), Steve Rasnic Tem. There's a type of horror short story which eschews explanation and neat causal chains and instead adopts ambiguity and stresses atmosphere. Instead of a solution to a horrific mystery, the reader is left with vivid images and feelings, and a need to bring their own interpretation to the narrated events. Such stories can exploit the truth that what we don't see and are forced to imagine is often scarier than anything an author can show us.
[#95]  Sat 02:00  ME
Ted Chiang's Brain: Why Creative Being is Necessary to Being Creative. Laurie J. Marks. Talk / Discussion (60 min). For the last several years Marks has been teaching a college freshman composition course that uses Ted Chiang's story "Tower of Babylon" as an example of creativity, then asks students to engage in their own investigation of what creativity is and how it works. In the process, she has attempted to understand what makes some people more creative than others. Surprisingly, the most important factor appears not be intelligence, skill, or cognitive flexibility, but a person's values; she finds herself not just trying to help her students learn how to write, but to have something worth writing about. And that raises a question for everyone who wants to be creative, or tries to teach creative work of any kind: is it right or even possible to engender a new set of values? Laurie will be joined during the discussion by Eric M. Van, who will discuss how Laurie's ideas mesh with the possible neurochemical bases of creativity.
[#96]  Sat 02:00  RI
The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult SF & Fantasy. Victoria McManus. Talk / Discussion (60 min). The Norton Award will be presented by SFWA for the first time at next year's Nebulas. Juror McManus passes on and solicits recommendations, and discusses the award process in its embryonic stages. How do the jurors hunt for eligible books? Do enough people in SFWA read YA, and will they feel moved to recommend books for the award? What will the voting be like?
[#97]  Sat 02:00  NH
Ellen Brody reads "Housing Problem" by Henry Kuttner. (60 min).
[#98]  Sat 02:00  VT
Chris Genoa reads from his new novel, Foop! -- a surreal satire of modern society from the absurdist perspective of a time-traveling tour guide. (30 min).
[#99]  Sat 02:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Michael A. Burstein; Cecilia Tan.
[#100]  Sat 02:00  E
Autographs. Robert J. Sawyer; Kate Wilhelm.
[#101]  Sat 02:30  VT
Nina Kiriki Hoffman reads "The Listeners," set in ancient Greece and forthcoming in Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow's trickster anthology, Coyote Road. (30 min).
[#102]  Sat 03:00  F
What Do You Believe About Speculative Fiction That You Can't Prove? Rosemary Kirstein, Jonathan Lethem, Farah Mendlesohn, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Graham Sleight (+M). Usually, we don't go public with our beliefs until we develop a cogent argument to support them. But sometimes that argument never grows in our mind, and our belief remains a "gut feeling" or "intuition." This is a rare opportunity to present your pet theory about imaginative literature without providing any justification whatsoever!
[#103]  Sat 03:00  G
The New Cordwainer Smith Winner: An Introduction. John Clute, Scott Edelman, Donald Kingsbury, Darrell Schweitzer (+M), Gordon Van Gelder. An introduction to the career and works of this year's winner of the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award. What are the books and stories we should read, and why?
[#104]  Sat 03:00  ME
Interstitial Arts: How It All Began, And What We're Going To Do About It Now! Ellen Kushner with Delia Sherman. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Kushner reads from her essay on Interstitial Arts -- commissioned by editor Jack Dann for "Movements in Science Fiction and Fantasy: a Symposium" in his Nebula Awards Showcase 2005 (Roc, March 2005) -- and invites discussion of the concept and its goals. ("Interstitial Arts" are works that cross or straddle the borders between mediums, the borders between genres, and / or the borders between "high art" and popular culture.)
[#105]  Sat 03:00  RI
Presenting The Odyssey Writing Workshop. Jeanne Cavelos. Talk (60 min). Director Cavelos describes the workings of Odyssey, an intensive six-week workshop for science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers, held each summer at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. Odyssey is an internationally respected program with guests that have included Harlan Ellison, Elizabeth Hand, George R. R. Martin, Dan Simmons, and Gene Wolfe. Odyssey alumni share their experiences and discuss the pros and cons of writing workshops.
[#106]  Sat 03:00  NH
John Crowley reads "a plate of hors d'oeuvres." (60 min).
[#107]  Sat 03:00  VT
Wil McCarthy reads "Maklord Pete," a brand-new novelette, and (time permitting) "The Technetium Rush," a brand new short story. (60 min).
[#108]  Sat 03:00  Vin
Future Washington (Red) Wine and (Blue) Cheese Reception. Ernest Lilley (host); James Alan Gardner, Joe Haldeman, Allen Steele. The Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) is publishing an anthology of stories about Future Washington, named, well, Future Washington. Lilley is the editor; authors include several Readercon guests as well as other interesting characters like Cory Doctorow, L. Neil Smith, Brenda Clough, and more. In the spirit of democracy, we'll have wines and cheeses of many hues, and alternative beverages to ensure freedom of choice.
[#109]  Sat 03:00  E
Autographs. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer; Walter H. Hunt.
[#110]  Sat 04:00  F/G
Kate Wilhelm Interviewed by David G. Hartwell.
[#111]  Sat 05:00  F/G
Joe Haldeman Interviewed by Farah Mendlesohn.
***  Sat 06:00  Ballroom Lobby
Registration and Information close.
***  Sat 06:00  E
Bookshop closes.
[#112]  Sat 08:00  F/G
The Rhysling Award Poetry Slan. Mike Allen (+M), Theodora Goss, Joe Haldeman, Terry McGarry, Darrell Schweitzer, Vandana Singh, Sonya Taaffe, Sheree Renee Thomas. (75 min) A "poetry slan" (to be confused with "poetry slam") is a poetry reading by sf folks, of course. Climaxed by the presentation of this year's Rhysling Awards.
[#113]  Sat 09:30  F/G
The Best of the Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition. Craig Shaw Gardner (+M), Glenn Grant (champion), Yves Meynard, Cecilia Tan, Eric M. Van (M). (90 min) Our traditional evening entertainment, named in memory of the pseudonym and alter ego of Jonathan Herovit of Barry Malzberg's Herovit's World. Ringleader Craig Shaw Gardner reads a passage of unidentified but genuine published bad sf, fantasy, or horror prose, which has been truncated in mid-sentence. Each of our panelists -- Craig and his co-moderator Eric M. Van, champion Glenn Grant, returning provocateur Yves Meynard and new challenger Tan -- then reads an ending for the passage. One ending is the real one; the others are imposters concocted by our contestants (including Craig) ahead of time. None of the players knows who wrote any passage other than their own, except for Eric, who gets to play God as a reward for the truly onerous duty of unearthing these gems. Craig then asks for the audience vote on the authenticity of each passage (recapping each in turn by quoting a pithy phrase or three from them), and the Ace Readercon Joint Census Team counts up each show of hands faster than you can say "Bambi pranced." Eric then reveals the truth. Each contestant receives a point for each audience member they fooled, while the audience collectively scores a point for everyone who spots the real answer. Warning: the Sturgeon General has determined that this trash is hazardous to your health; i.e., if it hurts to laugh, you're in big trouble. This year's contest includes one round each from Readercons 3 through 7, and features both classic and freshly minted "answers" from co-moderator Craig Shaw Gardner (as well as new "answers" from the other contestants and perhaps a surprise or two).
***  Midnight  Room 630
Con Suite closes.



***  Sun 08:30  Nantucket
Closed Workshop.
***  Sun 09:00  Ballroom Lobby
Registration & Information open.
***  Sun 09:00  Room 630
Con Suite opens.
***  Sun 10:00  E
Bookshop opens.
[#114]  Sun 10:00  F
Really Magic Realism. John Crowley, Daniel P. Dern (+M), Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Melanie Tem, Sheree Renee Thomas. There's a subgenre of speculative fiction which combines extraordinary human abilities with closely observed contemporary settings. Sometimes the abilities are science-fictional (e.g, Zenna Henderson's "People" stories), more often they are magical. It's a subgenre that allows for the particular pleasures of contemporary realist fiction without sacrificing the latitude afforded by imaginative literature.
[#115]  Sun 10:00  G
Both Sides Now: Presenting the Opposing Argument. David G. Hartwell (+M), Ken Houghton, Laurie J. Marks, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Sarah Smith. "Almost any interesting work of art comes close to saying the opposite of what it really says." -- Gene Wolfe, "What I Know About Writing." For instance, you are unlikely to find a stronger, more sympathetic argument in favor of the existence of a torturer's guild than in The Book of the New Sun. The argument for a given point of view is always more effective and forceful when the opposing argument has been presented-and done full justice, not just held up as a straw man. Examining the depth of the opposing argument may be an underused critical tool.
[#116]  Sun 10:00  ME
Immortality And Extreme Life Extension In SF. Charles Platt. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Platt now runs a cryonics organization, and sees his involvement in cryonics as comparable to Van Vogt's in Dianetics and Scientology. A presentation on the theme in sf, and on real life emulating fiction.
[#117]  Sun 10:00  RI
Stephen King's The Dark Tower Completed. John Langan. Discussion (60 min). The ending of Stephen King's Dark Tower series has been a matter of much controversy and discussion. Join in! (Spoilers, obviously.)
[#118]  Sun 10:00  NH
Michael Blumlein reads from his new novel The Healer. (60 min).
[#119]  Sun 10:00  VT
Greer Gilman reads from the third novella in the Ashes cycle, following "A Crowd of Bone." (60 min).
[#120]  Sun 10:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Joe Haldeman; Robert J. Sawyer.
[#121]  Sun 10:00  E
Autographs. Rosemary Kirstein; Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald.
[#122]  Sun 11:00  F
Experiencing Sense of Wonder for College Credit: Teaching SF in the Classroom. Fred Lerner (M), Suzy McKee Charnas, Samuel R. Delany, Theodora Goss, Leigh Grossman. A discussion of the past and present of teaching sf as literature at the college level. How has the explosion of "sci-fi" in pop culture changed the attitude of students towards our classics?
[#123]  Sun 11:00  G
The Art of the Slingshot Ending and Other Sequel Tricks. John Clute, Geary Gravel, Patrick O'Leary, Sarah Smith (+M), Allen Steele. An author can end the present story with complete satisfaction, but meanwhile, he's setting up the sequel. John Clute (borrowing a term coined by Kim Stanley Robinson) calls this "the slingshot ending." It's not the same as merely starting the sequel in the last chapter of the previous book, à la Ian Fleming. Instead, the author slowly starts putting the narrative hooks for the sequel into the present text, careful all the while not to disrupt it. In the final pages, as the resolution of the present story become clear, so does the nature of the sequel. A discussion of this and other ways to create a series of tales that link together but stand satisfactorily on their own.
[#124]  Sun 11:00  ME
A Collaboration Proposal for Theoretical Physicists and Hard SF Writers. Carl Frederick. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Frederick recently found himself casually plotting a science fiction story, when something "very strange" occurred: he realized that he had ceased to write fiction and started to do original work in physics (his original field). A colleague agreed that his idea was highly interesting and could well result in a paper in Phys. Rev. (the journal of record for physics). Frederick hopes to develop the theory, and then finish the story that inspired it; if he's lucky, we might see the first instance of an advance in theoretical physics revealed not in Phys. Rev., but in Analog (the journal of record for hard SF). The experience led Frederick and his colleague into a consideration of the potential relationship between physicists and hard sf writers. Physicists might be somewhat constrained in their thinking by their specialization, while hard sf writers might be better suited to thinking "outside the box" (whereas the physicists characteristically push at the box's edges). Put them in a room together, and some interesting physics and equally interesting sf might result. At the very least, a worthwhile anthology might emerge. Frederick will lead a discussion of how this neat idea might become reality, and (as example and apertif) discuss the original physics idea (it has to do with the infamous "measurement problem," the difficulty of interpreting quantum mechanics in light of the "collapse of the wave function.")
[#125]  Sun 11:00  RI
Out-of-Genre Reading. John Morressy. Talk (30 min). Morressy recommends books outside the fantasy / sf genre that employ techniques of the genre, as well as books that are useful for background.
[#126]  Sun 11:00  NH
Paul Di Filippo reads "Harsh Oases," his first Ribofunk story since the publication of the collection of that name. (60 min).
[#127]  Sun 11:00  VT
Elizabeth Hand reads from Generation Loss, a very dark mainstream suspense novel-in-progress. (30 min).
[#128]  Sun 11:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Ellen Datlow; Donald Kingsbury.
[#129]  Sun 11:00  E
Autographs. James Alan Gardner; Cecilia Tan.
[#130]  Sun 11:30  RI
Hipsters, Flipsters And Other Forgotten Finger-Poppin' Daddies. Daniel P. Dern. Discussion (30 min). Lord Buckley, Phillip Wylie, George Ade, Bernard Wolfe, and maybe Robert Coover.
[#131]  Sun 11:30  VT
Tom La Farge reads "Night Reconnaissance," a chapter from his next novel The Broken House, forthcoming in the Omnidawn New Fabulist anthology. (30 min).
[#132]  Sun 12:00  F
Working Backwards From Effect To Story. Eric M. Van (M), Michael Cisco, John Clute, John Crowley, Farah Mendlesohn, Kate Wilhelm. We can think of at least four different effects on the reader that are specialties of sf: sense of wonder, pleasant confusion, conceptual breakthrough, and rug-pulled-out / what-you-know-is-wrong. "Recognition" (in John Clute's theory) and "eucatastrophe" (in Tolkien's) are arguably effects that are specialized to fantasy. We have lately been struck by the suspicion that authors sometimes start with an effect in mind and work backwards towards a story that will evoke it ("gee, I feel like writing one of those stories that totally messes with your mind"). When evoking a specific effect in the reader is a primary rather than secondary motivation, how does that shape the creative process?
[#133]  Sun 12:00  G
From Wonderland to Baconburg: Cross-Generational Fiction. David G. Hartwell, Jeff Hecht (+M), Ellen Klages, Kelly Link, John Morressy, Delia Sherman. "The world needs more stories profound enough for children but entertaining enough for adults" -- Anita Roy Dobbs. From Lewis Carroll through Roald Dahl to Daniel Pinkwater, there's a sizeable body of fiction written for children (not young adults) that adults can read with equal pleasure. Some of this fiction works on two levels, but more often the kids and their parents are delighting in roughly the same things. How is it that some stuff that entertains children is as pleasurable as dental work to adults, while some is magical?
[#134]  Sun 12:00  ME
The Drawing/Writing Interface. Wendy Walker. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Walker catalogs the gamut of literary forms that are quite literally simultaneously writing and drawing. Outside of the comic book, most of these of unfamiliar to American readers of fiction, and even of poetry. Her favorites include the Arabic calligram, the word labyrinth, and the humument, but there are many more.
[#135]  Sun 12:00  RI
SF and Social Change. Robert J. Sawyer. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Does sf actually serve as a medium for effecting societal change, or has it become so diverse, pulling in so many different directions, that any message one author has is canceled out by what another writes? Indeed, is anyone besides the core sf audience paying attention to what we say, anyway? Sawyer will expand on his comments on this topic that appeared in the January 2005 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction, and then open it up for what he hopes will be a lively discussion.
[#136]  Sun 12:00  NH
Rosemary Kirstein reads from the untitled fifth volume (in progress) of the Steerswoman Series (30 min).
[#137]  Sun 12:00  VT
Darrell Schweitzer reads "The Hero Spoke," a distilled mini-epic (told ironically as a series of liar paradoxes) about Homeric-style heroes busting into the Land of the Dead to have it out with Lord Hades. (30 min).
[#138]  Sun 12:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Gregory Feeley; Walter H. Hunt.
[#139]  Sun 12:00  E
Autographs. Donald Kingsbury; Wil McCarthy.
[#140]  Sun 12:30  NH
Debra Doyle reads from Mist and Snow, an alternate-historical Civil War fantasy currently in progress. (30 min).
[#141]  Sun 12:30  VT
Gavin Grant reads "Heads Down, Thumbs Up," from Scifiction, April, 2005. (30 min).
***  Sun 01:00  Ballroom Lobby
Registration and Information close.
[#142]  Sun 01:00  F
If This Goes On / If All This Goes On: Single vs. Complete Extrapolation. James L. Cambias, Jeffrey A. Carver (+M), Thomas A. Easton, Glenn Grant, Shane Tourtellotte. Through the 1950s, the dominant formula for sf extrapolation was to postulate one major change to the human condition ("if the influence of advertising continues to grow," "if the morons outbreed the rest of us") and add it to a small and fairly standardized set of future tropes. It wasn't till the '60s that we started seeing attempts to extrapolate a complete future, a mode which has gradually become more and more dominant. Is there still a place in sf for the classic single-premise story? Or are all sf writers doomed to have a complete command of every aspect of contemporary technological and cultural change before they dare to explore that one neat idea?
[#143]  Sun 01:00  G
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About SF Poetry. Mike Allen, Theodora Goss (+M), Joe Haldeman, Sonya Taaffe, Sheree Renee Thomas. Both sf and poetry have hugely important differences from the conventional prose narrative. What happens when you combine the two?
[#144]  Sun 01:00  ME
The Fiction of Theodore Sturgeon. Samuel R. Delany. Talk / Discussion (60 min). Delany's review of The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume X: The Man Who Lost the Sea appears in this month's "Special Return to Readercon Issue" of The New York Review of Science Fiction. In fact, the very idea for a Memorial Guest of Honor at Readercon dates back to Readercon 2 and the longtime championship of the works of Sturgeon by GoH Delany.
[#145]  Sun 01:00  RI
How I Wrote The Healer. Michael Blumlein. Talk (30 min).
[#146]  Sun 01:00  NH
James D. Macdonald reads from The Gates of Time, a forthcoming urban fantasy starring a Knight Templar and an assassin nun. (30 min).
[#147]  Sun 01:00  VT
Cecilia Tan reads from Bambino Road, a recently completed fantasy novel which explains why the Boston Red Sox didn't win a World Series for 86 years. (Because a magical conspiracy is the only explanation that makes sense with the historical record and facts!) (30 min).
[#148]  Sun 01:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Rosemary Kirstein; Wendy Walker.
[#149]  Sun 01:00  E
Autographs. Ellen Kushner; Laurie J. Marks.
[#150]  Sun 01:30  RI
How I Wrote To Crush the Moon. Wil McCarthy. Talk (30 min).
[#151]  Sun 01:30  NH
James Alan Gardner reads from his forthcoming novel, Necessary Evils. (30 min).
[#152]  Sun 01:30  VT
Holly Black reads from a new contemporary fantasy novel, Valiant: A Tale of Modern Faerie. (30 min).
***  Sun 02:00  Room 630
Con Suite closes.
***  Sun 02:00  E
Bookshop Closes
[#153]  Sun 02:00  F
Best-Guess Science, Hand-Waving Science. Judith Berman, Michael Blumlein, Michael A. Burstein (+M), Samuel R. Delany, Joe Haldeman, Ian Randal Strock. There are two fundamentally different approaches a writer can take when dealing with highly speculative science which is important as a jumping-off point but otherwise not central to the story. Obviously, the writer can do extensive homework and make their best effort at getting the science right. However, there is also a longstanding tradition in sf of merely inventing some plausible-sounding explanation together with a little jargon and then getting on with what the story is really about. Both approaches have their advantages and their potential problems. How much does the specific story dictate the best approach, as opposed to the writer's temperament?
[#154]  Sun 02:00  G
Out-of-Genre Horror. Don D'Ammassa, Ellen Datlow, Elizabeth Hand, John Langan (+M), Melanie Tem, Paul Tremblay. When a creepy stranger in a story in a horror anthology turns out to be a killer, it's no surprise. When the same thing happens in a story in a literary collection, though, it can blindside us completely and be far more forceful. This is a genre reading protocol paradox: a horror story is usually more horrifying if we don't know it's a horror story beforehand. There has thus always been a steady but significant trickle of genuine horror in literary markets (e.g., Michael Chabon's "The God of Dark Laughter" in The New Yorker.) Should horror-heads be paying more attention to them? Or do these stories -- regardless of the quality of the writing -- lose some of their clout when you put them underneath a cover with "Horror" stamped on it?
[#155]  Sun 02:00  RI
Copyediting. Terry McGarry. Talk / Discussion (60 min). How to get started if you think it's something you might like to do; how and why it's valuable to your own writing.
[#156]  Sun 02:00  NH
Kelly Link reads. (30 min).
[#157]  Sun 02:00  VT
Barbara Krasnoff reads "Hearts and Minds" from the December Weird Tales and the brand-new "Sadie's Satyr." (30 min).
[#158]  Sun 02:00  Vin
Kaffeeklatsches. Ellen Kushner; Kate Wilhelm.
[#159]  Sun 02:30  NH
Theodora Goss reads "Pip and the Fairies," forthcoming this year on Strange Horizons and next year in Goss's short story collection. A woman whose mother was a children's book author returns to her childhood home to find out whether her mother's stories were fiction or real. (30 min).
***  Sun 03:00  F
Readercon 16 Debriefing. Members of the Readercon 16 Committee.